His body shivered violently with each pin poke of the needles. Black, inky words caused his paper white skin to bleed red. Grayson’s dry lips rapidly whispered the Mother’s Words with each needle strike.
I walk down dark roads
In light only I can see
The Brother and Sister who tattooed him sat calmly on either side of him. Neither of them flinched as Grayson shook with pain. He had been at this for about three hours and couldn’t stop until his entire back was full.
His Brother, Julian sat cross legged before him, allowing Grayson to grip his hand. Julian didn’t even blink at the feeling of Greyson’s nails digging into his palm. Julian’s eyes were motherly, a mix of pride and distant concern beamed from him. Grayson was unable to be soothed by Julian’s expression. He was sprawled flat on the floor, one arm extended toward Julian and the other covering his breasts.
Julian had told him that the Moon Mother didn’t care how much of Her Whispered Words were inked on to his body, also long as they were Her Words. It had taken him a few years to chose which of Her Words held meaning to him. His relationship to various passages changed from year to year, month to month. Julian had told him how it was he knew that Grayson was becoming a man. Grayson believed it still made him less than a boy.
You break through
The dead branches,
Cut through the black sky.
Grayson flinched at the touch of Julian on his head. Julian’s thin fingers ran through the shaven parts of behind Grayson’s ear. “They are almost done with the shoulders, its almost over. We will do your arm tomorrow. The Moon Mother is proud of her son.
Grayson shuddered as he shook his head. “No. It will be finished. It will be finished today.” his voice was weak and softly. “I have waited…waited too long for this. Now is the time for to be all said and done. “
Julian looked up at the two tattoo artists, who both paused for moment before nodding. They placed down their needles, the black ink flowing between the cracks of the stone floor. The tattoo artists picked up the bowls of warm water and cloth in one slow, fluid motion. Grayson hissed slightly as the sting of the water washing away blood and excess ink.
Julian pardoned the tattoo artists with a small wave of the hand. His Brother and Sister did not acknowledge the dismissal, but started to gather their tools none the less.
The teenaged boy lied face down on the ground for a long while, hiding his face from his elder. Julian’s tattooed hands reached out again, only to be suddenly slapped away by Grayson as he sat up.
Grayson wrapped both arms around his chest in a tight high to conceal his breasts. His grey eyes were feverish, full of anger and tears. “Order them back.” Grayson grunted through gritted teeth. His temper was fiery than most people would like, but he knew it was best to try to restrain himself in front of his superior. No matter how much he wanted to sob, how much he wanted to throw himself against the stones, he had to bury the burning feeling as deep as he could.
Julian rose off of his knees. His black cloak bellowed around him transforming him into a shapeless mass. Keeping his eyes on the seething younger boy, he undid the crescent moon pin and his cloak. The various tears, patches and holes where visible as the cloak flung around Grayson’s shivering body. He bent over and pined cloak close. Grayson’s body started to shiver less and slowly his breathing slowed. Only tears streamed down his face. The soft soles of Julian’s shoes patted away toward the hole in the wall that acted as a door way into the other chamber. He took a moment to look at Grayson behind his shoulder. He paused as if he wanted to say something, but then continued into the other chamber.
The dark stone brick walls consumed him. The coolness of the room sank through the holes of cloak. He couldn’t move, as if the ground had petrified him. His body was like solid stone, the cold making his skin numb to the recent tattooing.